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This World Sight Day, Orbis International Calls for All Eyes on 2020 and Preserving the Future of Vision

Amid significant progress to celebrate, the global demand for eye care is set to triple over the next three decades.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – On the eve of World Sight Day, Orbis International celebrates achievements of the eye health community over the past two decades, and warns of a projected global tripling in demand for eye care over the next thirty years.

2020 is a critical year for Orbis International and other leaders in the global eye health community. Next year will mark the end of Vision 2020, a global project of the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness to reduce avoidable blindness.

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When the project was launched just over 20 years ago, the number of blind people worldwide – then 45 million – was expected to double by 2020. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of the global eye health community galvanized by Vision 2020, the doubling never occurred.

Despite this progress, the World Health Organization’s first-ever World report on vision, launched today, shows that 2.2 billion people around the world live with vision impairment or blindness. Of those, at least 1 billion people have conditions that could have been prevented or have yet to be treated. The vast majority of this burden is borne by people from low- and middle-income countries, women, older persons and those from rural communities and ethnic minorities.

Experts had already predicted that global blindness and vision impairment are set to triple by 2050 because of population growth, aging and changes in lifestyle. This increase in patient load will result in a tripling of global demand for eye care; already the number of people in need of care is outpacing the number of trained ophthalmologists.

“As 2020 approaches, we have much progress to celebrate, but if we are to prevent the looming crisis, we cannot rest on our laurels,” said Bob Ranck, president & CEO of Orbis International. “We have to take what we’ve learned over the past two decades and use it to make our future efforts laser-focused on what we know will preserve vision for the greatest number of people.”

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Taking a people-centered approach: Training local eye health teams is the most sustainable way to ensure that vulnerable communities gain long-term access to the quality eye care they need in their communities. 75% of all blindness and visual impairment is treatable or preventable. A lack of access to screening and treatment is the primary barrier keeping hundreds of millions of people living in low- and middle-income countries from saving or restoring their sight.

Going to scale: Leveraging innovation and technology is one of the most cost-effective ways to help local eye health teams improve their quality of patient care. Tools like artificial intelligence, virtual reality and telemedicine have already shown their potential to change the way eye health teams in rural and resource-poor communities conduct screenings for common conditions that endanger vision, and deepen their skills by learning from colleagues around the world. These tools will become even more vital as population rises and patient loads increase.

“We know what needs to be done to avert the looming vision crisis, but it can’t be accomplished alone,” said Danny Haddad, M.D., chief of program at Orbis International. “The achievements made over the past twenty years prove that there is strength in numbers, and collaboration will be key as we continue our fight against avoidable blindness.”

Orbis International’s contributions to preventing the looming crisis are evident in our recent impact. In 2018 alone:

  • 148 of Orbis’s Volunteer Faculty (medical experts) were deployed to train local eye care teams on our Flying Eye Hospital and in 89 programs in partner hospitals around the globe.
  • Doctors, nurses and other eye care workers and community volunteers from across the world completed more than 63,000 trainings.
  • More than 5,800 eye health professionals from 165 countries completed virtual trainings through Orbis’s telemedicine platform, Cybersight.
  • 2,160 patient consultations were conducted through Cybersight.
  • Orbis launched a simulation training program that uses the latest technology – like virtual reality, artificial eyes and life-like mannequins – to build local eye health teams’ skills, including surgery, nursing and anesthesiology, in a controlled environment.

Learn more about Orbis’s impact in our recent report.

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BHVI Collaborates with Global Experts to Launch the Myopia Education Program

The launch will see all three courses available in an anytime, anywhere format.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BHVI launches their leading Myopia Education Program at the 2019 American Optometry Academy. The launch will see all three courses available in an anytime, anywhere format. This enables eyecare professionals to complete the program in their own time.

“We want to make our education program easily available to our community of professionals, so they have the flexibility to sign up and learn while still managing myopia in their busy practices” said Pamela Capaldi, Director of Professional Services with BHVI

BHVI has developed the program in collaboration from both BHVI and global experts. The use of interactive case studies, videos, polls and discussions gives participants an interactive, engaging and supported learning experience. Participants have a six-week time frame in which to complete these internationally accredited and recognized courses.

Uniquely, the BHVI Myopia Education Program comprehensively addresses managing Myopia from both a clinical and business practice perspective. The current program includes three key modules; 1. Managing Myopia – Changes the way you understand and treat myopia. 2. Complex Cases – Strategies and tools to help confidently manage more complex myopia cases. 3. The Business of Myopia –Maximize business results and grow your practice through managing myopia.

More about the Myopia Education Program can be found at education.bhvi.org

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Optometry Giving Sight Establishes New Board

Dr. Juan Carlos Aragón is the president.

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(PRESS RELEASE) GOLDEN, CO – Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) announces that it has established a new Board of Directors to oversee the organization. Dr. Juan Carlos Aragón, president of CooperVision’s Specialty Eye Care Division, is the president of the new board. He previously served as Optometry Giving Sight’s chair of their Advisory Council U.S.A. and the Global Board for a several years.

Joining Dr. Aragón on the board are: Dr. Howard Purcell, president and CEO of the New England College of Optometry, Yvette Waddell, CEO of Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation, Dr. Susan Cooper, former president of the World Council of Optometry and Dr. Earl Smith, former dean of the University of Houston College of Optometry. The OGS Board is meeting in Orlando during the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Optometry and the World Congress of Optometry.

The past year has been one of transition for Optometry Giving Sight, as it is now focusing most of its fundraising priorities in the United States and Canada. The Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation, one of the founding members of OGS, continues as a major implementing project partner. The World Council of Optometry, also a founding member of OGS, continues as a partner.

“We are very excited for Optometry Giving Sight’s future as we will be building on our strong history of supporting projects that bring accessible and sustainable eye care to those who are in need in the developing world. We look forward to enhancing our existing relationships in the vision care community and to establishing new partners throughout the industry” says Dr. Aragón.

Currently, Optometry Giving Sight is conducting its largest fundraising campaign of the year, the World Sight Day Challenge. Optometrists, practices and staff, vision care companies and others are all invited to participate in giving sight and hope to thousands of people around the world.

To learn more or make a donation please visit: https://www.givingsight.org/giving/world-sight-day-challenge.html

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Essilor Laboratories of America to Move Bell Optical to ‘State-of-the-Art Industrial Lab’ in December

It will be the largest integrated lab in the ELOA network.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Essilor Laboratories of America announced that it is moving its Bell Optical Lab and building it out into a “state-of-the-art industrial lab” in Columbus, OH.

The Bell Columbus lab will be the largest integrated lab in the ELOA network and will co-locate with the company’s largest distribution center in the U.S., according to a press release. The move is occurring within the Columbus area, from 3671 Interchange Rd, Columbus, OH, to 2400 Spiegel Drive, Suite L, Groveport, OH.

“Bell Columbus will use the latest surfacing, coating, and finishing equipment with advanced sustainability standards to reduce waste and water usage, with faster processing – which supports the company’s efforts to be environmentally friendly and support the communities in which it serves,” the release states.

Employees from Bell Optical will move to the new location later this year, and the company will more than double the number of employees in Bell Columbus.

“Our lab network has a single ambition of improving lives by improving sight by serving customers, patients and consumers with the industry’s most technologically advanced products and highest service levels,” said Christophe Leger, Essilor of America’s senior vice president of operations and supply chain. “Moving Bell Columbus is the next step in our investment and vision of a truly integrated supply chain that leads the industry in delighting our customers and exceeding the expectations of their patients.”

The Bell Columbus Lab will be fully automated with “the most technologically advanced equipment and technology to deliver rapid turnaround times and the highest quality manufacturing of lenses for both Ohio customers and customers across the U.S.,” according to the release.

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